Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Zak S. survey

Reposted from "Playing D&D with porn stars"
Repost and answer. Or, if you don't have a blog, answer in the comments. Or be a big rebel and do neither.

1. If you had to pick a single invention in a game you were most proud of what would it be? The wand of Chaotic Wonder.  It is a rod of wonder with a touch of chaos in the mix.  Basically, I use the rod of wonder chart, the wild surge table chart and the PHB spellbook to figure out the results.  Many good times were had with it.  (All 2E stuff btw.)

2. When was the last time you GMed? About two weeks ago.

3. When was the last time you played? A week ago.

4. Give us a one-sentence pitch for an adventure you haven't run but would like to.  Come and join a party of fellow adventurers as you explore the world of Middle Earth, set five years after the Battle of Five Armies in lands of Mirkwood and the Misty Mountains.

5. What do you do while you wait for players to do things? Review notes, try to listen to what they are doing, figure out a few paths that they could take and try not to be surprised when they go somewhere I didn't even plan for.

6. What, if anything, do you eat while you play? Many things, chips, brats, 'za, burgers, every once and again some veggies.

7. Do you find GMing physically exhausting?Yes, and I also find it mentally exhausting.

8. What was the last interesting (to you, anyway) thing you remember a PC you were running doing? 
My cavalier going one-on-one with a red dragon, both of us flying.  The only reason I took it down was luck, a frost brand and a super heroism potion.

9. Do your players take your serious setting and make it unserious? Vice versa? Neither? They are constantly making jokes about NPCs, the setting and sometimes the game itself.  It gets grating when it happens as often as it does.  I don't think it has happened the other way around.

10. What do you do with goblins? In my most recent game, they have an empire. They have honor.  They have high quality weapons.  And, in a run through of the game, almost destroyed the party several times.

11. What was the last non-RPG thing you saw that you converted into game material (background, setting, trap, etc.)? The way some see religion, I used it in a way that those from a more rural background had a better connection to their faith than those who dwell in big cities.  (I am NOT trying to start a religious thing.  It was simply something I noticed about out culture.)

12. What's the funniest table moment you can remember right now? When our GM was so sleep deprived, he started a description about a light over a temple one of our characters created.  Problme was he wasn't high enough to do this yet.  (We were all sleep deprived and it might be a cheat of an answer, but that is the first thing I could think of.)

13. What was the last game book you looked at--aside from things you referenced in a game--why were you looking at it? The One Ring.  Thinking of maybe running a game using those rules.

14. Who's your idea of the perfect RPG illustrator? Tie between David A. Trampier, Erol Otus and David Sutherland.

15. Does your game ever make your players genuinely afraid? In the sense that they will never see their character get very high, then yes.

16. What was the best time you ever had running an adventure you didn't write? (If ever) I ran the Sunless Citadel, I did some converting to 2E, but ran it mostly as is.  Had a good time.

17. What would be the ideal physical set up to run a game in? The ideal physical set up, WOW.  Hard question.  Some comfortable chairs or couches around a table with either an inset plastic grid or maybe just a well worn battle map with bookshelves that are close at hand to pull books for rules discussions (at the right time that is) and a kitchen nearby for snacks.  And, at least a few bathrooms for the call of nature.

18. If you had to think of the two most disparate games or game products that you like what would they be? AD&D 1E and the Cortex system for the Firefly/Supernatural/etc.

19. If you had to think of the most disparate influences overall on your game, what would they be? The way culture works and religion.

20. As a GM, what kind of player do you want at your table? One who can show up week after week, can get there on their own, can throw in for food/drinks if need be without needing to be paid back, non-rules lawyers and can get along with other players and blend as a party.  (Yeah, I kno wit sounds like a big gripe.  But it happens.)

21. What's a real life experience you've translated into game terms? Can't think of one off the top of my head.

22. Is there an RPG product that you wish existed but doesn't? As far as I know, this doesn't exist: a formula or set of instructions for making something like Type IV (4E) or 3.5E work with older school game systems.  I always feel like I am hitting them with a sledgehammer trying to make the square peg fit in the round hole.  It fits, yet it takes a lot of hammering.  (Maybe one reason why I am looking forward to see what 5E is going to look like.)

23. Is there anyone you know who you talk about RPGs with who doesn't play? How do those conversations go? Yes there is.  It goes pretty well, then he steers the conversation to wanting to play.  I tell him what I am running and he realizes it isn't the one kind of game he wants and he shuts down.

Hope you all enjoyed that little delve into my thoughts.

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